Being an entrepreneur probably sounds fun to a lot of us. Many think it’s a chance to make their own hours, be the final decision-maker on things and get immediate satisfaction when something good happens. And, while those things are all true about becoming an entrepreneur, to actually make money and financially support yourself without the help of a big company isn’t easy. In fact, it’s downright stressful. But, hey, you know what they say, “if it were easy, then everyone would be doing it.”
In that same vein, it takes a special person to become an entrepreneur, because one has to be borderline obsessive, crazy, passionate and all-around versatile in order to be successful. Whether that’s creating something brand new like Mark Zuckerberg did with Facebook, or start a fast-food chain that has a clear business model, to find success in business on your own is going to take blood, sweat and tears.
One person who knows a lot about that is Mike Podesto, who’s the founder of Find My Profession. When Podesto left his job to found his own company as an entrepreneur, like so many others do, he ran into lots of obstacles that could have derailed his dream. Overcoming adversity and understanding that it was all part of the journey, Mike Podesto eventually accomplished his goal, and he’s sharing a few tidbits about how to become a successful entrepreneur.
In an interview with Forbes, the CEO outlined three very distinct obstacles that all future entrepreneurs should be wary of, while offering up advice on how to try and plan for the uncertain (and rocky) road ahead. Here’s some of what Podesto had to say, via Forbes.
1. Something Every Entrepreneur Needs To Know: “There’s No Perfect Time To Quit Your Job And Start Your Own Company”
According to Mike Podesto, “The fact is, no business can be 100% prepared for what’s to come.” That’s critical info to know, because, for too often, someone with the hope of becoming an entrepreneur thinks that they’re idea is going to knock it out of the park no matter what. The fact of the matter is, though, it’s going to take a lot of work, adapting and long hours to perfect something before selling it to people.
To try and help combat that, here Podesto said that future entrepreneurs need to avoid falling in love with just one idea or one approach:
“Don’t get too attached to any one idea and don’t be afraid of change. Every great entrepreneur is able to roll with the changes and adapt to meet the needs of their customers.”
Just like anything in life, one must adapt in order to succeed, and, in some cases, an entrepreneur is forced to do that numerous times a day depending on what obstacles they’re facing.
2. Overplanning Can Be The Death Of Any Entrepreneur
Having a plan is obviously a wise idea before leaving a job and going at it on your own, but to overplan is something that can quickly ruin the chance at any success. Remember, while it’s great to be inspired by something or someone — especially if that person is a mentor or has been successful themselves — your own actions determine the outcome more than anything.
“The secret to starting a business is to plan less and do more,” Podesto warns. “The best way to become an expert at something is to practice. No amount of planning or preparation will ever come close to real life experiences.”
For any future entrepreneur out there, prepare for the road ahead with a solid grasp of your business — and adapt appropriately — but avoid trying to create the perfect business, because there’s no such thing.
3. As An Entrepreneur, Be Ready For A Whole Bunch Of Unpredictability
Who the hell would’ve ever thought that an entrepreneur is going to have so many different things going on at once? Shocking, right? Part of that chaos is what entrepreneurs love, though, because no two days are similar. And the good ones are the people who don’t let that stress or anxiety tear them apart. In other words, you’re going to fail, so be prepared to test your will in overcoming those experiences.
“When I first started my company, things were not glamorous by any means,” Podesto admits. “I took a $70,000 pay cut, I moved four times in one year, I worked 80-plus hour weeks, my business partner quit, I acquired $40,000 in debt, and I changed the game plan over 20 times. You simply can’t plan for these sorts of events. Change is bound to happen. The best way to find out what works is to find out what doesn’t work.”
Taking a gamble on yourself and starting a company can definitely be rewarding. It’s something that can give you flexibility and, when done successfully, can lead to financial reward. While becoming an entrepreneur can be a struggle, Mike Podesto is quick to say that any failures he went through helped shape the future of his own business — but it’s all about doing, learning and adapting.
“The best way to grow and develop a business is not to research and plan. It is to do and fail.”
For all you hopeful entrepreneurs, strap on your seatbelts, because the journey is going to be a bumpy ride. But stay the course and know that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel if you keep on moving forward.